Sunday, 31 December 2017

November & December Favourites

If you follow me on Instagram, you're probably sick to death of seeing this advent calendar! If not, then keep an eye out for my blog post coming in January, reviewing all the bits I got! I've absolutely loved opening this every day through-out December & I'm extremely sad it's finished.

If I had a life time favourites, candles would feature for sure, but this month I've fallen back in love with Yankee Candles. James & I were kindly gifted a pine scented one at the beginning of December from my mum & we've already burnt through it! I'm so sad, but perfect timing to say goodbye to Christmas & start a fresh for the New Year.

Blood Orange Bodyspray
This was one of the items I got in my advent calendar & I've been wearing it most days since opening it. It smells so Christmassy & not surprisingly.. quite orangey! Who wouldn't want to smell like a chocolate orange at Christmas time?!

I mean, nothing beats a red lip at Christmas time. It just completes every outfit in my eyes & makes you look like you've put in so much more effort than you actually have! This one from Clinique is never far away from my lips, it's such a lovely formula.

Matte Pink Lipstick
I've never bought anything from the brand Stila before, but loved the look of their products, especially the lipsticks. When this one popped out of my advent calendar, I was so excited! I started wearing it the next day & haven't taken it off my lips (apart from when I'm wearing the Clinique red lipstick!) 

Mince Pies & Cheese
I mean, not together obviously, but who doesn't love a mince pie & cheese & crackers at Christmas! I've lost count of what I've consumed this year.. oops!


Vampire Diaries 
James & I have started watching this from the beginning & are loving it. I'd watched up to season 5 a few years ago, but forgotten so much of it! 


Grandad celebrated his 90th birthday in the middle of November! 

James & I celebrated our 5th anniversary with a trip to Kingston-Upon Thames.

As well as meeting up with friends & family in December, the girls & I went to Wakehurst Place for the Glowalk, we had a group meal at Elisa & Jamie's & I organised our work Christmas do at Bills. It has definitely been a month of eating, drinking & social gatherings!

& finally, it was Christmas! From start to finish, Christmas is always so busy. James & I started off with Christmas Eve at Valerie & Barrie's, my Grandparents' on Christmas Day & then Boxing Day at Allan & Maria's. I still haven't managed to sort through all my presents yet as it was so manic, but I wouldn't have it any other way!

How was your Christmas'? Hope you all had a lovely time however you celebrated & I hope you all have a very Happy New Year! : )

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Friday, 22 December 2017

Life Lately #140

Hello lovelies,

Sometimes with these life update posts, it takes me ages to fill them, but this month has been so manic, with events & social gatherings, it was pretty easy to get this one together so soon after my previous one!

Last Friday morning, I visited my friend Lorna at her new place. It was so lovely to have a catch up with her over a cup of tea & a shortbread. I absolutely loved her new place & it's the perfect area for exploring which I know she loves to do. We exchanged Christmas presents, I opened mine early as she explained I'd enjoy it more on the lead up to Christmas. How adorable is it!? James & I have placed it right by the door as you enter our flat so it's the first thing you see : )

I also caught up with Shez on the Friday afternoon. (Friday was so manic as I literally went straight to work after the socials!) We had a tea & swapped pressies. I actually wanted to desperately write this post to tell you what she got me, as she was seriously paranoid I wouldn't like it, but I love it. It's a massive pug canvas, which matches perfectly with our pug cushions at home. I need to find the perfect place for him to live, but at the moment he's residing under the Christmas tree!

As I said, after meeting the girlies, I headed to work for Christmas Jumper Day! I blogged a few weeks back showing you my favourite red jumpers from the high street this year & I purchased the Dachshund one from Tesco! I absolutely love it so much, definitely wearing it for Christmas day!

On Saturday, the girls & I travelled to Wakehurst Place for the Glow-Wild Lantern Walk. We booked our tickets way back in September, as it sold out almost immediately last year. The walk itself was quite muddy, but absolutely beautiful. It took you through the grounds of the house & actually into the house at the end, with lots of little photo opportunities on the way. They had some hot chocolate, waffles & marshmallow stands at the end, which smelt incredible. Definitely recommend going if your local. 

James & I had a day off together last Sunday, so we spent the day wrapping & watched Love Actually in the evening. It's my favourite Christmas film & I couldn't wait to watch it this year, I actually might try & watch it again in the next few days if I have time..

So, I started organising our work Christmas meal back in September & on Wednesday it all came together. This year we decided to go to Bills in our local town, for a 3 course meal. It was so delicious, I couldn't fault it! I'm so lucky to work with such amazing people, I couldn't do the job I do without them.

& finally I spent yesterday with mum, wrapping the last few pressies & trying on Christmas jumpers with the dogs. Just look at Honey! She is going to look extremely festive on Christmas day!

I hope you all have an amazing Christmas & Happy New Year if you celebrate it! : )

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

What I've Been Wearing On My Nails #44

Bourjois - Black Glitter
These were actually my Halloween nails this year, however I still think they are perfect for Christmas! Black nail varnish always takes me back to my teenage years, but add a bit of glitter to it & you've instantly got the festive vibe as opposed to a gothic vibe! I love this polish in particular as it dries so quickly & doesn't take an hour of scrubbing of your nails to get it off.

Essie - Bahama Mama
This shade is my perfect Autumn colour. I love how it completes any outfit & isn't too in-your-face being a darker red. Don't get me wrong, a bright red is never far away, but I do favour a burgandy nearer Christmas time!

Essie - Bahama Mama & Barry M - Pink Glitter
Who can resist adding a bit of glitter to their nails at Christmas time? Not me, that's for sure! I love making my nails look festive & a glitter top coat does just that.

ELF - Dark Navy
& when I can't be bothered to wait for a base coat to dry to add a glitter top coat, grabbing a nail polish that is already sparkly, does the trick! This one I've had for years & I haven't worn it for ages, but wanted a darker shade for Christmas parties. I actually adore the formula of ELF polishes, they always seem to last a long time & are so easy to apply. 

What are you wearing on your nails this December? : )

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Life Lately #139

Hi lovelies,

Why did someone forget to remind me how busy December is!? Literally, I have no time to breathe at the moment. My diary is fit to burst & with one day off in the lead up to Christmas, it's all a bit manic.

I managed to meet up with my girlies at Nandos the week before last for a catch up over some chicken. I also got to see Boop for a Christmas drink at Costa which was so lovely. We went after work about 6pm & it was so quiet. Perfect time to have a drink & catch up over a hot chocolate. We also went & bought her perfume with the voucher I gifted her for her birthday earlier this year.

I mentioned in my previous post that James & I celebrated our 5 year anniversary a week early, so last Friday, we had a cosy night in with a takeaway. You can read about what we got up to here for our actual anniversary if you like.

Like I mentioned, December has started! This year I was kindly gifted the M&S advent calendar by my mum, which I adore. All the products I've opened so far have been beautiful & I get so excited opening it each night! I'm filming each day over on my Instagram stories, so make sure you're following me over there to see what I get!

On 3rd December, James & I put up our Christmas tree! This is the first one we've ever bought together, so it felt really special putting it up & decorating it. It looks so pretty in our little flat, I can't wait to stuff a million & 1 pressies underneath!

We also put on our Christmas bedding last week. I don't know what it is about Christmas duvets, but they just make everything so much better!

Oh look at Harv. He's been feeling extremely Christmassy this week. I popped round to see mum & wrap a few pressies & write some cards & he was so adorable. He even posed for a picture with his christmas hat on.. keep an eye out for that in the next few weeks! 

& finally, panto has started at work! Friends & family are invited with staff to the dress rehearsal each year, so my parents joined James & I for the annual event. We are currently wearing bright green t-shirts & feeling extremely festive at work! If any of you work in retail / entertainment. I feel your pain. NOT LONG TILL CHRISTMAS THOUGH!

Friday, 8 December 2017

The Ultimate Red Jumper Wishlist

What is it about the colour red that screams Christmas?!

There's just something super Hygge about wrapping yourself up in an over-sized knitted jumper, with a hot chocolate, while watching a film. Am I right?

I've picked out a few of my favourite from the high street this year. I even included a bright fluffy orange one for a slightly different take on the standard red & there's even one for the furry friend in your life!

Let's start with this dark red number from Boohoo. I'm not usually a fan of cropped jumpers, I mean, who wants a cold belly in Winter?! However, the back of this jumper is what sold it to me. I love the twist detailing, it just gives it something a bit extra.

 The next two are just classics in my eyes. The first one I wanted to include because it comes in so many different colours, so if red isn't your thing, they also do black, grey, blue & even mustard (which I'm quite tempted by) The tie detailing down the side of the darker red one is so pretty, it really adds a bit of special detailing to an otherwise plain jumper.

Let's be honest, you can't go wrong with a cardigan. I don't actually own many, I'm usually more of a jumper girl, but this one was too cute not to include.

So, dog lovers amoung us, how adorable is this!? Esecpailly as it has a Dachshund on the front. Honey would definitely approve of this one. I also had to include this adorable Christmas jumper for your own little fur baby. I love that it has little antlers & a hood!

& finally, a fluffy orange jumper! This just looked so soft & cosy, I'm desperate to add it to my collection despite it being in the teens section!

What colour have you been loving this season? I'd love to know : )

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Sunday, 3 December 2017

Our 5 Year Anniversary!

Hello lovelies!

On Friday, James & I celebrated our 5 year anniversary. I mean, how crazy is that!? In a way, it sorta doesn't feel that long as it's like he's been apart of my life forever, but at the same time, it's gone so quickly.. weird huh? 

Due to time off work & booking the hotel that we did, we actually celebrated a week early. James' Dad & Maria kindly bought us a Secret Escapes voucher for Christmas last year, so we used it to book a night's stay at the beautiful Warren House.

We didn't want to travel too far from home, meaning the outskirts of London was a good option for us. Warren House is in Kingston-Upon-Thames, which is about an hours drive away. We decided to make a few stops on the way to our hotel, starting with Chessington Garden Centre. I absolutely love it here. We used to visit quite often when James worked at Chessington World Of Adventures, but we hadn't been since early Spring. It looked so beautiful & festive. Garden centres are one of my favourite places to go to meet a friend for tea or lunch as there's always so much to see & eat! Perfect place to pick up a unique Christmas pressie.

The added bonus of this particular garden centre is it's dog friendly & there's even a assigned place for doggies. It gave me the chance to sneakily take a few photos of cute ones!

After lunch, we then headed to Jurassic Encounter Golf, which was literally down the road from the garden centre. Despite it being freezing, it was really good fun. James actually plays golf properly, but mini golf is about as far as my ability will stretch, so it's fun to play it together, despite it getting seriously competitive!

We could check into our hotel from 3pm, so we'd timed our arrival about 4pm, just when it was starting to get dark. We were greeted with prosecco & were shown to our room, which over-looked the gardens.

After a few glasses & a nap we went down for dinner at 7pm & basically had the dining room to ourselves! We were wined & dined & truly spoilt with a three-course meal. I had salmon pate for starter, James had goats cheese ravioli & we both had a steak for main & white chocolate cheesecake for pudding. To say we were full afterwards was an understatement!

The next morning, we woke to a full English breakfast & an all-you-can-eat continental buffet in one of the many dining rooms. It was soooo delicious. 

We then wanted to explore a bit of the local area before heading home & after some researching online, we headed to Richmond Park. Neither of us really knew what to expect, but when we started to drive through, we couldn't actually believe how close we were to London! We honestly felt as though we were in the middle of the New Forest! There was so many beautiful deer as well, this massive 'army' that we found as well as a smaller heard, with a gorgeous red stag.

We had a walk through the woods & despite it being freezing cold, the sun was shinning & it honestly felt so Christmassy! I'm honestly so sad I'd never been before, but can't wait to go back again already!

Have you ever visited Bushy Park? That one is next on our list!

Hope you're having a wonderful December so far lovelies! The Christmas countdown has officially started! Make sure your following me on all my social media (links below!), as I'm truly in the Christmas spirit this year. Also, I was lucky enough to recieve the M&S Advent calendar from my mum & I'm opening each day of my Instagram stories if you wanted to check that out as well!

I would love to read your Christmassy blog posts, so please leave them in a comment down below.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Life Lately #138

Hello lovelies!

In the middle of November, 4 of my friends took part in a local theatre production of Two. If you don't know the play, you can read all about it here. It's usually performed by 2 people funnily enough, however, they are a small theatre group of about 10. It was so well done & was lovely to see them on stage.

Last weekend, we finally got to celebrate Charlotte's birthday with her. You might remember a few weeks back I posted about Our Adventure To London, that Char had suprised us all with for our birthdays. We decided to plan a night out for her, starting with a posh dinner at Miller & Carter Steakhouse in Brighton. I'd never been there before, but the food was delicious! We had a starter & a main before heading back to Cathy's for games, presents & birthday cake.

On 17th November, my Grandad turned 90! We had a birthday buffet celebration with all the family on the Sunday afternoon. Elisa made him a cake which was personalised from his time in the Merchant Navy. It was so nice to get everyone together to celebrate.

We met up with James' mum & Barrie last Monday for dinner at Prezzo. It was so nice to see our little town covered in Christmas lights & decarations. We also managed to catch up with Allan & Maria on Sunday for brunch at Bills. Allan had also recently celebrated a birthday & they'd just returned from a snowy trip to Iceland so it was lovely to hear all about it.

& finally last Friday, James & I travelled up to Kingston-On-Thames for an over-night stay at Warren House, to celebrate our 5 year anniversary. (which will actually be this Friday!) We stopped at Chessington Garden Centre for a look at all the Christmas decorations & to have lunch in Sedum Restaurant. I absolutely love it there, we used to go quite often when James used to work at Chessington World Of Adventures. We then played mini golf at the Jurassic Encounter Golf Course, before heading to Warren House. The following day, we headed to Richmond Park, which I was so excited for! We saw lots of deer & had a walk through the woods (where I got to play in the leaves!). It's such a beautiful place. 

How has your November been lovelies?

James & I are decorating our tree this weekend & I couldn't be more excited! I'm also going to be blogging a lot more frequently throughout December, so keep an eye out for some festive posts! : )

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Sunday, 12 November 2017

Life Lately #137

Hello lovelies,

It isn't everyday you get to wear sparkly green glitter on your lips is it? Halloween feels like a life time ago now, but almost like it was yesterday at the same time. We all dressed up at work, Elisa & I dressed up as witches & Nicola was a dead bride. I was so in love with my makeup, I'm going to try to recreate the look (maybe slightly more subtle) for my birthday with pink glitter!

I went to visit my grandparent's last week & took Honey for a walk in their garden. You know those places that just bring back all the happy memories of your childhood? Their garden does exactly that. It's so special to me & Honey absolutely loves playing in the fallen leaves, just like I used to do.

Ricka & I met up for some Christmas shopping last weekend & we headed to Guildford. It was so busy in the shops, I never knew people were so organised with their Christmas shopping! We had such a lovely day & catch up.

On Wednesday, I met up with Gemma, Alice, Elisa & Lily at Costa. The plan was to test out the new Christmas drinks, so Gem had the Lindt hot chocolate & Elisa had the black forest hot chocolate. They both smelt incredible.

James has started his new job & he's loving it! One of the perks of the job, is he gets to bring home their dog food. Honey was extremely excited by this as you can see. Every bag / tin I got out the bag she would sniff & try to open & then decide to roll on top of the food! Was so funny to watch.

James has been away this weekend & he sent me flowers at work! I seriously can't believe how lucky I am. Thankyou babe, you made my day!

& finally Boop & Cathy came round for dinner last night & we ordered a Chinese & stuck on Horrible Bosses 2. It was so lovely to catch up with them & show them the Lanzarote vlog that I recently finished! We all seriously had the Summer blues after though.. why has it suddenly got so cold!? It's really starting to feel like Christmas! I picked up our Christmas tree today from Tesco, the decorations are also bought ready for the tree & I've started my shopping. I can't wait to make our little flat all festive.

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? : )

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Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Our Trip To London

Hello lovelies!

On 24th September, the girls & I travelled to London to visit our friend Char, who had arranged a day out for our birthdays. I was the only one that knew the itinerary for the day, the other 3 girlies had no idea where we were heading too! Char had made clues that we could all open just before we headed to our next location. 

Our first stop was a picnic in Hyde Park. Now I know it's a big park, but nobody warned me how many dogs would be there! I managed to spot 5 sausage dogs within 2 hours. I was in heaven. And on to the actual picnic, Char made us all a packed lunch, which was so sweet. We each had a juice box, with a chicken wrap & salad.

The girls were then given their next clue, which resulted in us heading to Choccywoccydoodah! I didn't actually realize you could sit & eat in one of these shops, as I've been into the one in Brighton before & never realised they had an upstairs seating area. We'd just had lunch in the park, but their menu was too good to resist! I had a pink lemonade, with salted caramel brownies & ice cream, which was incredible! It amazed us all how filling everything was, which resulted in quite a few of us getting doggy bags for the jounrey home.

We then got given our tickets for The Sky Garden, which Char had booked up months ago! If you haven't heard of the Sky Garden, it's basically exactly what it sounds like, a garden, in the sky. The views over London are incredible, we could see for miles.

It's actually a free attraction, where you can purchase drinks & food if you wish from the bars when your up there. Such a beautiful location to visit, I'd highly reccomend going.

Char's photo

& finally we headed to see a show in Piccadilly Circus called The Comedy About A Bank Robbery. The show is written by the Mischief Theatre Company, who did The Play That Goes Wrong, which has been on my list of shows to see for ages! It was absolutely hilarious, I can't reccomend it enough. We had seats in the first circle, that were 'restricted view', however it was extremely quiet in the circle, so we just moved a few seats along & only had small pillars on one side of the stage, so for £10 per ticket you couldn't really complain!

We then said goodbye to Char & headed home, with a cheeky stop at McDonalds on the way! 

Just want to say again Char how amazing the day was, you are an incredible human. This post is in honour of your birthday! Hope you're having the most wonderful day & we all look forward to spoiling you in a few weeks time!

Thursday, 2 November 2017

September & October Favourites

A glitter top coat just completes my everyday look at the moment. I'm loving using this one from Nails Inc over dark reds, greens & even pastel colours like lilacs & baby pinks. If you want to check out more of my nail art, you can see them over on my Instagram, or I regularly post about What I'm Wearing On My Nails so keep an eye out for those!

Soap & Glory Mascara
I only seem to discover new products when I run out of my exsisting ones. My favourite mascara is & always will be the Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara, but I have to say, this one is slowly creeping up my list. I think it's pretty similar to the Maybelline one, it definitely lengthens my lashes but it seems to hold the lift longer throughout the day.

The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying
I bought this book a few years ago & never actually read it. I mean, I started it, got a few pages in, then completely forgot about it & moved on to the next book. I rediscovered it the other day when I was sorting through my collection of books & decided to give it another go. It amazes me how the subject of tidying can be so interesting. That sounds weird, but why would you write a whole book on how to tidy? Isn't it easy..? Marie Condo is a brilliant author & honestly captures your attention on the subject right from the first page & I can't wait to put into practice all the tips & tricks she suggests.

Gold Accessorize Eyeshadow 
I mean, can you get anymore Autumnal? I've absolutely loved wearing this for evenings out over the past month, paired with this Primark top, they make such a statement together. 

I picked this up in the Primark in Poole on our holiday to The New Forest last month & I'm obsessed. It's perfect for days out, or dinner & drinks in the evening with jeans & boots. It goes with everything & I can see it's going to be a staple in my wardrobe. I went shopping with my girlies last week & I also picked it up in red.. it's just such a lovely style, I couldn't resist.



Ah the new season started in September & as always, I'm obsessed. 

Dr Foster 
So, it was only when someone said to me 'season 2 starts next week' did I suddenly remember 'I forgot to watch season 1!' James & I started this last month & we are hooked. It's so gripping. We are half way through season 2 at the moment, so no spoilers please!


James & I went on holiday to The New Forest in the middle of September & had the most amazing time. I wrote a full post on our adventure which you can read here if you like.

James got a new job! I'm so proud of him. It's still working with animals but is in a much better paid position. He's just started his first week so we're excited to see where it'll take him in the future.

The girls & I headed to London for the day & we generally had one of the best days ever. We had a picnic, visited Choccywoccydoodah, The Sky Gardens & finished by seeing a show in the evening. It was called The Comedy About A Bank Robbery.

I got my hair cut! I absolutely love it. I now have a longish bob & it's so much fun to style.

We celebrated Mum's birthday on 22nd. We had a chilled day together, eating lots of food & venturing out on an Autumn walk.

& finally it was Halloween! I didn't go out to celebrate this year, but we all dressed up at work & it was so much fun. I'll obviously fill you in a bit more in my next life update post!

& seriously, I can't actually believe that when I come to write the next Favourites Post, it's going to be reviewing the end of the year.. how scary is that!? So much has happened, it's going to be quite an emotional post I think.

Did you celebrate Halloween this year? : )

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Life Lately #136

Hello lovelies,

So if you follow me on social media, you would have seen that I got my hair cut towards the beginning of October. I decided to have a longish bob, which is the shortest my hair has been since I was a young teenager! I absolutely love it & styling it is so much fun now it's shorter. I'm quite sad I didn't do it sooner!

On 12th October, Honey turned eight. EIGHT. Oh my god, where do the years go!? I came round to visit her & we had lots of cuddles & played games before curling up on the sofa together. She's such a cutie.

Last Sunday I met up with the girls at Pizza Express for lunch before I started work. It was so lovely to have a catch up with them. I was actually planning on doing some shopping after we'd met up, but we just talked for hours & I had to head straight to work! I also managed to pick up a few bits in a charity shop before meeting them, so keep an eye out for a small haul soon!

James & I both had last Monday morning off, so we decided to check out a local pub that's started doing breakfast. Oh my god. Look at my foooood. I couldn't believe how delicious & well presented it was. Oh & of course, you can't have breakfast without a cup of tea! Next time we go, I'm going to test out the pancakes, because they looked amazing as well!

It was Mum's birthday on Sunday & I spent the afternoon with her, eating lots of food & drinking lots of tea. We also took the doggies on a very Autumnal walk, which they enjoyed!

& finally, I've started to decorate our flat for Autumn / Christmas! I'm determined to get all my shopping done as soon as humanly possible this year. I do always try to get it done & dusted before December starts, however, I want to be finished by latest middle of November. Whether this will happen or not, who knows, but I'm excited to try! Would any of you be interested in me doing a post about decorating your flat on a budget this year? I've managed to do a few Autumn DIY's & managed to pick up some cute little decorations quite cheaply.

Have you started decorating yet?
Did you have any plans for Halloween? : )

Friday, 20 October 2017

What I've Been Wearing On My Nails #43

Barry M - Prickly Pear
When I was putting together this post, it made me smile. You can see I'm completely torn between hanging on to Summer & embracing Autumn with my nails! I can't seem to let go of the pastel shades & this Gelly Hi-Shine one from Barry M is a staple in my collection. I don't know if it's something people do like they do for their wardrobes, but I feel like I need to put away all my Spring / Summer polishes, so I only have the Autumn / Winter ones accessible to try & get me into the seasonal spirit!

Essie - Ruffles & Feathers
Like last year, I couldn't resist having a green polish on my nails this month. You might remember the Autumnal nail art design I did using this green Essie polish as a base & it had golden leaves on top. I absolutely loved that design so I'm definitely going to be trying it again this year.

Leighton Denny - Rosey Posey & Nails Inc - Gold Glitter 
& we're back to another Summer design. I couldn't resist adding a bit of glitter to this one though!

Ted Baker Deep Red (no name!) & Miss Sporty - Glitter Effect, Paris
& finally, I think I might have skipped Autumn & headed straight to Christmas with this design! I had these nails planned out in my head for the longest time, but as soon as I'd painted them, I instantly thought of Christmas. However, it really isn't that long to go till Christmas is here.. so in theory, I'm only a month or so ahead of schedule.. 

I'm currently thinking of what nail art do to for Halloween this year. I went quite simple last year, with a gold base & silver spider web detailing on top. I'm dressing up as a witch at work, so thinking maybe green or purple to match my makeup! Are you doing anything for Halloween?

Saturday, 14 October 2017

What I've Learnt From Moving Out

Hello lovelies!

Can you believe I moved out of my parent's house on 13th April, that's over 6 months ago! Time really does fly. It feels like we've been in our little flat for ages, but at the same time, not that long at all. We are currently half way through our tenancy, then we have to decide whether to stay another year or move out. James & I are still discussing this & the we quite like the idea of getting a bigger place, so we'll have to see how we're feeling after Christmas.

I wanted to share with you a few things that I've learnt over the past few months since moving out.

It's expensive
Ok, so I had a rough idea of how much renting would be. I'd budgeted, done the maths of the rent, bills, food & living etc, but I never expected it to feel so.. annoying! Gone are the days where I used to be able to browse ASOS & add multiple things to my basket, where as now I have to ration myself in Primark to one jumper per visit & only pick up essentials when I'm literally scraping the barrel. It's a whole new ball game, but one I'm managing to keep on top of, I just would love to go out & buy ALL THE CLOTHES.

Vouchers / coupons / loyalty cards are your friends
A while ago, I sat down with Elisa (who is the master of finding deals & bargains!) & we went through all her store cards that are free & that can save you money. A lot I already had, such as a Boots Advantage Card, Tesco Clubcard & multiple coffee shop cards, however when your starting to make your space your own, having an Ikea Family Card was one of the best deals we found! You get discounts on sale items, food & on selected products. Not to mention free tea & coffee when you shop! I also got a Waitrose Card, which (to be honest, I rarely shop there, but still) means you get a free tea or coffee when you buy groceries & scan your card at the till. Makes popping to get milk a little bit more enjoyable! & finally a Nectar Card. I've never had one of these because we always shop in Tesco as a rule, but since we do have a Sainsbury's in town, it was worth getting. However, the best part of a Nectar Card is you can link it up to eBay & earn points by purchasing items on there! So I already have a nice stack of points building up just from buying random bits & pieces each month! 

You have no free time
This may sound like a silly one, but have you noticed how little I've posted since the beginning of April? It's because I literally have no time. I'm sure this is just something I've managed to do to myself, but if I'm sitting on the sofa & I spy a cobweb or something needs dusting, I have to sort it then & there! & sure enough, once I've finished cleaning every room, it all needs doing again! I barely manage to do anything other than work, clean & think about cleaning..

You do adult things, because nobody is going to do them for you
Yup. It's true. Mum is no longer going to 'drop that to the post office for you' as it's on the way to town. Your going to have to go to the post office yourself. Your going to have to ring your agency because your freezer door won't shut properly. Your going to have to do the Tesco shop with one of the scary trolleys that don't turn corners every week. I don't like having adult responsibilities.

You don't take anything for granted
When I was writing out points for this blog post, one of the first things I wrote was 'dishwasher withdrawal symptoms' & it's true. I think we get used to having all these luxuries when in fact when we move out, we're almost starting from the bottom & working ourselves up again. I don't mind doing the washing up, however I would like to put my feet up for 20minutes as opposed to standing looking at a wall while cleaning the pots & pans.

You build stronger relationships
Most of you know, I moved in with my partner James & even though we've been together nearly 5 years, we've never lived together before. Obviously this has affected our relationship, but it's made us appreciate the other one a lot more. I actually love the feeling of coming home to him at night, when he's hopefully got the dinner started (he finishes work at 6pm, I'm usually 8.30pm) & just knowing he's there is such a nice feeling. I'm kinda hoping he feels the same, when he comes home from work & I've spent the day cleaning / tidying & I'm there to jump on him as I've missed him all day. I also wanted to mention my relationship with my family as well. Moving out has definitely brought me closer to my mum in many ways. As I've mentioned above, I've been doing things I wouldn't usually do, but that doesn't mean she hasn't been there every step of the way, holding my hand if needed. I find when we do see each other (usually twice a week) we have a lot more to catch up on & it's nice to visit my doggies & have a cup of tea & cake with her.

& finally, I just wanted to write about why I decided to blog about this. At the end of September, my parents went on holiday for a couple of days, so I stayed over at my old house, with Honey & looked after the chickens. While I was there, I was totally happy don't get me wrong, but I knew I wasn't home. I was thinking about the flat & if James had remembered to put on the washing (he had, yay!) & all the bits I needed to do there. I was missing it & it felt weird to get into my 'old bed' as opposed to our one at home. Of course, my parent's house will always be special to me, however, I'm so overwhelmed by how much I missed our flat, it made me really happy to know that we made the right choice to move out when we did & that the place is extremely special to me.

Spreadsheets & budgeting really do pay off!

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Life Lately #135

Hello lovelies,

I mentioned in my last update post that I was staying at my parent's house looking after the animals. Just look how adorable Honey looks snuggled up in bed. I thought she would be getting me up at the crack of dawn, but I actually had to wake her up! The chickens were so cute as well, they all lined up in the morning for their food & went to bed obediently at night.

Charlotte organised a late birthday celebration for the 4 of us in London at the end of September. I'm going to write a full blog post on our day, so won't talk to much about it now, but we had such an amazing day. I was the only one (bar Char obv!) who knew what we were doing & it was so much fun giving the girls clues through-out the day! We visited The Shard, Choccywoccydoodah & saw The Comedy About A Bank Robbery in the evening!

Last week, we had a launch night at work for the Year Of Culture that's coming in 2019. It was so beautiful, we got out the red purple carpet & had lanturns all around the foyer. People came from all over the District to watch the launch & it truly made the building feel magical.

I met up with my girly Ricka for brunch at Bills last weekend for a catch up. We hadn't properly seen each other since the middle of May, so we had so much to talk about. 

The girls & I went to see Home Again last week & I haven't enjoyed / cringed at a film for so long! Reece Witherspoon is fantastic as always & the 'young boys' were brilliant as well. Highly reccomend it for a girls night out.

Saturday night I spent with my Grandparents. We had a family meal at their house to celebrate my parent's wedding anniversary in September (they were away at the time) so we had a long over-due catch up, was so lovely.

& finally Char came back for the weekend, so we arranged to meet up with our other friend Shez for a roast. There is nothing better than a roast dinner on a Sunday. Since moving out, James & I haven't yet cooked a roast, but that's made it seem like more of a treat when we do have it, either round parent's houses or out & about.

How has October been for you lovelies? 
Getting excited for Halloween? I've already planned my outfit!

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Our Adventure To The New Forest

Hello lovelies!

In the middle of September, James & I took a short break to The New Forest. We rented a lodge, called Forest Lodge in Ringwood. We found it using a website called cottages4you, which I only discovered as I wanted to use our Tesco Clubcard points & that was one of the websites listed. They have tons of holiday places on there, so worth checking out if you're looking for a short break.

We set off late on Friday morning, stopping at KFC for lunch (our guilty pleasure) & our first stop was the Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary. It was raining when we arrived, so we weren't very hopeful we'd see any deer, but sure enough, we found a herd just by the entrance. They are the cutest little things, with swishing tails & spotty backs! We had a walk around the forest paths as it had stopped raining & found the cutest birds, including this adorable little robin. A lot of people seemed to have been put off by the weather, so it was extremely peaceful & quiet.

After our walk, we headed to Tesco, to stock up on some meals for the evenings, as it was a self-catering accommodation. We could check into our lodge from 3pm, so we arrived just after 4, before the heavy rain started! We met a few wild animals on the way, including horses, pigs, cows & donkeys. One of the donkeys stuck her head in James' window & just refused to move, even when another car came in the other direction & had to drive into the ditch to avoid hitting it's bottom! I just love that the New Forest gives animals right of way.. amazing!

Ah guys, just look at our lodge. Isn't it the cutest place you've ever seen? I was so in love with it. It was so cosy & warm & there was nothing better than being snuggled up with a blanket, watching tv. We didn't realise before we got there, but there wasn't any phone signal & the wifi wasn't working so we were completely shut off from the outside world & it was bliss. We played a few games of Scrabble, Ludo & Monopoly & just enjoyed each other's company. The owners had kindly left us milk, chocolates & a bottle of champagne, which was so lovely of them, so we made sure to make use of the gifts! The lodge itself is about 100metres from their house, slightly higher up, next to a field of horses. They had 3 horses; Fletcher, Maverick & Marmite, who we'd see when we left each morning for our days out. We also had a resident owl who you could hear when you were drifting off to sleep at night. Otherwise, it was completely silent.

Saturday was our first full day & we decided to head to Bournemouth. I'd checked the weather & it said it was going to be bright in the morning but rain in the afternoon, so we had an early session of crazy golf in Lower Gardens, followed by a walk near the beach, lunch in Days & then we visited the aquarium in the afternoon. I can't get over how beautiful Lower Gardens was. We had a walk around after playing golf & found a small aviary of birds & there were people singing & performing around the park. It was honestly so lovely. The beach itself is incredibly sandy & pretty, just look at the clouds!

& I'll be honest, the aquarium wasn't our favourite. We paid just under £13 each for entry & we'd finished the tour within an hour. Didn't really seem worth it, except I got to see my favourites; the seahorses & I got some stunning shots of the turtles!

After we left the aquarium, it was pouring with rain, so we thought we'd go on the pier to hide in the arcades, but there was a charge for the pier. I mean, we live near Brighton & I don't know if we've been spoilt all our lives, but it's free to walk up & down the pier, so we were outraged to have to pay! We did however realise there was an arcade before you got on the pier, so we dived in that one instead. James won me the cutest dog!

The next day we headed to Poole. I was quite excited to have a walk along the Quays as it was a dry, but chilly day. It was so lovely there & we met lots of cute doggies as we walked into Poole. We had lunch at Pizza Express & then headed to the Dolphin Centre for a spot of shopping.

Unfortunately we had to leave the following day, as check out was 10am, so we packed up our bags & headed home. Saying goodbye to our little lodge felt extremely sad, we'd really come to think of it as a second home.

I would honestly go back to The New Forest in a heartbeat, it was all so perfect & I feel like we could have explored for weeks, there was just so much to see & do!

Have you ever been to The New Forest?